In Yuri Pattison‘s 1014, the viewer is guided through the specific hotel room in which Edward Snowden lodged while in Hong Kong, immediately following his departure from the US. It’s the same location as many of the interviews seen in CitizenFour in addition to the breakthrough Guardian interview that first revealed his identity to the world as the source of the surveillance leaks. An online brochure of Room 1014, The Mira, Hong Kong can be found here.
The video combines stylistic elements from amateur hotel room reviews with fan videos of Hollywood filming locations.
In 1014, the visual tour is lightly annotated with diagrams and text elements borrowed from the NSA and GCHQ documents leaked by Snowden, while also drawing from English translations of Chinese netizen slang. These annotation elements were then flattened by processing them with the anonymity tool, Anonymouth.
The project comes from a position of anxiety and lack of clarity following Snowden’s revelations. By looking back at this critical location, 1014 meditates on recent history after the Academy Award win for CitizenFour, reflecting on the rapid transition of the story from political crisis to entertainment (in the form of a forthcoming Hollywood film) without any significant changes to the political status quo.
The format of 1014, somewhere between a review of an anonymous hotel room and a pilgrimage to a famous movie location, draws the arc of this transition.
A version of 1014 was originally commissioned by Warren Harper & Jon Weston for ‘Digital Voices’, Oxford, UK. Supported by Arts Council England.